When you get down to it, interior design is really a personal thing. A good designer has your interests in mind and will make your home a reflection of your personality, says Jamie Leonard, senior designer at VID Lifestyle, in Elgin.
“Usually, clients start off with one room, and then you have this bright, shiny new room and that tends to make the rest of the house look older,” she says. “So, then you start to filter through the rest of the house over the years. You become partners and friends as you help them to re-dream their whole home.”
An interior designer can help with many tasks, and a designer like Leonard, who has a full-service studio behind her, can bring anything from a single-room redesign to ground-up construction.
Their biggest advantage is their ability to coordinate work and filter options. Most designers have been in the field long enough to know where to go and how to find products that fit the client’s budget and style, says Leonard. The result is less time and stress for the client.
Before hiring just any designer, be sure to do your homework. Look up designers who work in your area, and consider who speaks to your style.
Crunch some numbers, too, and understand what you’re willing to spend. Then, leave some buffer room. An interior designer’s fees can range from $75 an hour to as much as $300, Leonard says, so it’s important to understand what that designer is willing to do for that rate.
Most designers will provide a free consultation, and it’s important to know that this meeting is all about building a relationship. Almost like a first date, this is the time to see if there’s a good fit. Ask what the designer will offer and consider what sort of relationship they have with other vendors – providers of furniture, decor and such. There’s a designer for every budget, says Leonard, so it’s important to have that conversation right away.
In the end, if it doesn’t seem like a good fit, feel confident in moving on, says Leonard.
“It’s not TV. It takes time, and it’s a process to get results,” she adds. “It’s a relationship, and we need to get to know each other.” ❚
VID Lifestyle is located at 2000 Fox Lane, Elgin, (847) 760-8206.